MFLCares about Des Moines Refugee Support

Alison Hoeman, left, Founder of Des Moines Refugee Support, accepts a donation from Midwest Family Lending Loan Originator, Charlie Chedester. Charlie nominated DMRS as our April MFLCares charity.

Des Moines, Iowa – Des Moines Refugee Support is Midwest Family Lending’s April charity and has received a $1500 donation.

In the middle of America lies Des Moines, Iowa, a place known for its friendly folks and close community bonds. Indeed, it’s a city where refugees find a warm welcome and help as they start a new life in the United States. Leading the way in this caring effort is Des Moines Refugee Support (DMRS). Established in 2016 by Alison Hoeman and powered by volunteers, DMRS has one clear goal: to help refugee families, especially kids, as they settle into their new home.

For refugees, starting fresh in a new country isn’t easy. They have to learn new rules, languages, and ways of life. Generally, this can be even tougher for children. But DMRS is there to lend a hand. They offer all kinds of help and resources to make sure these young refugees and their families have what they need to succeed in their new surroundings.

Central to this mission is the provision of transportation to and from preschool, enabling children to access early education opportunities that lay the foundation for their future success. Additionally, Des Moines Refugee Support provides rides and necessary equipment so kids can participate in soccer and other extracurricular activities. But the help doesn’t stop there.

Below are more services DMRS provides:

  • Rides to and from school, practices, competitions, swim lessons, camps, etc.
  • DART passes for older students who don’t qualify for school bus transportation.
  • Assistance with obtaining driver’s licenses, vehicles, and insurance for high school students.
  • Help with scheduling and transportation to college visits.
  • Vaccinations, physical examinations, clothing, and supplies for school.
  • Supplies to pregnant and new moms to care for themselves and their new-born.
  • Donation drives to collect household items, clothing, school supplies, etc. used for “free store” events.
  • “Free Store” events so families can shop for household items, clothing, winter gear, etc.
  • Donations and free shopping for Christmas gifts.
  • Food.
  • Assistance with job placement, and applications for Medicaid and food stamps.

What’s certainly special about DMRS is how it brings people together. Whenever volunteers from all different backgrounds work side by side, great things happen! There are so many people who step up to help DMRS do what they do. From providing transportation, to helping with donation drops and running the free stores, many hands are required. Undoubtedly, volunteers are there to step up to the plate. Afterall, teamwork does make the dream work!

So, as we think about what it means to be part of a caring community, let’s look to DMRS for inspiration. Together, we can create a world where everyone, no matter where they come from, can feel welcome, valued, and ready to thrive.

How can YOU help Des Moines Refugee Support?

Get involved! There are many ways you can help. From ordering T-shirts and purchasing Gala tickets, to volunteering your time. There is something for everyone.

Purchase winter coats on Amazon or at Walmart. Or donate household items via this Facebook Group.

Support with donation:

  • Venmo (@DSM-Refugee-Support)
  • Paypal (
  • credit card
  • Check sent to: P.O. Box 529, Des Moines, IA 50302

MFLCares about Des Moines Refugee Support

MFLCares is a program of Midwest Family Lending, a mortgage company based on Urbandale, IA, committed to creating customers for life and making positive community impact. Through MFLCares, we support and promote central Iowa charities. Check out our website to learn about the incredible organizations that are making a positive impact in our communities!

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